Executive Director of UNICEF

Latest: Henrietta H. Fore became UNICEF’s seventh Executive Director on 1 January 2018, replacing Athony Lake, who served two 5 year tersm. Ms. Fore has previously served as the Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Director of United States Foreign Assistance, Under Secretary of State for Management, and the Chief Operating Officer for the US Department of State.

Role: UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to “advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.” (source:UNICEF) The Executive Director oversees an annual budget of more than $3 billion, and manages a staff of 10,000 in more than 150 countries. The Executive Director has managerial and strategic responsibility for the organisation, and reports to the Executive Board.

How? The organisation’s founding charter, from 1946, simply states that “the Secretary-General of the UN shall appoint the Executive Director in consultation with the Executive Board.” There are no other requirements or directives regarding the appointment, although since UNICEF's establishment in 1947, all chief executives have been American.

Action: Previously, CRIN encouraged children's rights advocates to sign a letter to the UN Secretary General urging him to conduct an open and transparent appointment process.